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Old April 16th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #1
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The Rationale of an SDE

I'm opening this thread up as some discussion in the feb 12 sde thread may get buried. Victor mentioned some very valid points and I'd like to address them here.

Vincent:
I can see the reason for stills photographers showing their proof prints at the reception i.e. try to sell as many prints as possible, but this is not so commonm these days.. Perhaps I am missing an oppertunity to generate a few extra DVD sales by not offering a SDE, but generally I find the people are busy enjoying themselves and I try to capture as much of this as possible. Jason says he spent 3-4 hours editing, I would rather spend this time shooting.

Me:
Why do one?

1. Perhaps the best marketing tool available for us wedding videographers. (the wedding video will be viewed by the couple and at most, their family, the SDE is screened in front of hundreds). You don't miss a couple of DVD sales, you miss a chance to sell your services to a lot more poeple.
2. It's a moment where the couple can take a break and relive what's happened (the day was a blur for them, it's nice to watch it in slo mo this time).
3. It's a good piece of entertainment (if done right)
4. On my part, it's very fulfilling once I see the audience response especially the couple's.

Vincent:
1. Yes, of course showing your work to the guests is a good marketing tool, and no doubt you will pick up some extra work. From a clients point of view I wouldn't like anyone pitching for business on my day. But I am sure that your not doing a hard sell.

2. Take a break on your wedding day? Surely, talking to guests, enjoying the day has to be the important element of the day.

3. Yes, it's a good piece of entertainment, but then so is the father-in -law doing his John Travolta dance.

4. I'm sure it is a very fulfilling for you to see the audience, but that's a bit self indulgent.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #2
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It's quite fortunate that most of my clients don't mind a very brief bumper at the end of the SDE. I have one future client who prefered not having my name at the end and I acceeded to this request. I'm sure there are tacky ways to market oneself though which we generally try to avoid.

There are so many "moments" on a wedding day. We are just offering the SDE as one of these many moments.

I admit to the self indulgence. But an artist needs an audience :-).
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Old April 16th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #3
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I posted this question in the other thread, before I noticed this one, so if you prefer to answer it here, that's fine.

My questions is . . . what is the shortest amount of time you've had to put together an SDE?
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Old April 16th, 2007, 01:36 PM   #4
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I usually measure the alloted time from the point when the ceremony ends until it's time to screen the SDE. The shortest length of time I've been alloted is one hour.

Knowing this before hand, I try as much to finish before the ceremony ends and adjust the editing - less filters, more slomo, and less timing.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 01:45 PM   #5
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Where do you find the time?

My partner & I have been doing wedding photos and video for a couple of years. He is the photographer, and I am responsible for the video. We occasionally bring along a 3rd person for 2nd camera work.

The wedding we did this past weekend is fairly typical. The timing of the day goes like:
1:30PM - Arrive at church, begin equipment setup, photos & video of bridal party preparation.
2:30PM - Photographer gets pre-ceremony pix of the bridal party. Video equipment is setup.
3:30PM - Bridal party scurries away... guests are arriving. more photos and video. get b-roll now.
4:00PM - Ceremony begins ... all hands on deck!
4:30 - 5:15PM Ceremony ended... begin packing up equipment. Photographer takes post-ceremony pics.
6:00PM Race to the reception site
-6:30PM Setup equipment. Photos & video of venue and guests. Talk to DJ to get a plan of atack
7:00PM - Bridal party arrives
7:15PM - Toasts
7:30PM dinner for all ... including hired help (us)
7:50PM - Cut the cake
8:10PM - 1st Dance
8:15PM - 8:30PM Father-daughter, Mother-son, bridal party dances
8:30PM - 8:45 PM general dancing and drinking and drinking
8:45PM - 9:00 PM Bouquet toss... garter toss.. garter retrieval
9:00PM - midnight & beyond ... continued drinking, dancing and drinking ... all captured on video.

Now, where in that hectic schedule does one find 3-4 hours to do an edit ... and have it available early enough before the assembled crowd disperses or is blind drunk?
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Old April 16th, 2007, 01:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Magbanua View Post
Knowing this before hand, I try as much to finish before the ceremony ends and adjust the editing - less filters, more slomo, and less timing.
What do you mean by "finish before the ceremony ends"? Do you mean finish the SDE, or just finish shooting video?
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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Ball View Post
My partner & I have been doing wedding photos and video for a couple of years. He is the photographer, and I am responsible for the video. We occasionally bring along a 3rd person for 2nd camera work.

The wedding we did this past weekend is fairly typical. The timing of the day goes like:
1:30PM - Arrive at church, begin equipment setup, photos & video of bridal party preparation.
2:30PM - Photographer gets pre-ceremony pix of the bridal party. Video equipment is setup.
3:30PM - Bridal party scurries away... guests are arriving. more photos and video. get b-roll now.
4:00PM - Ceremony begins ... all hands on deck!
4:30 - 5:15PM Ceremony ended... begin packing up equipment. Photographer takes post-ceremony pics.
6:00PM Race to the reception site
-6:30PM Setup equipment. Photos & video of venue and guests. Talk to DJ to get a plan of atack
7:00PM - Bridal party arrives
7:15PM - Toasts
7:30PM dinner for all ... including hired help (us)
7:50PM - Cut the cake
8:10PM - 1st Dance
8:15PM - 8:30PM Father-daughter, Mother-son, bridal party dances
8:30PM - 8:45 PM general dancing and drinking and drinking
8:45PM - 9:00 PM Bouquet toss... garter toss.. garter retrieval
9:00PM - midnight & beyond ... continued drinking, dancing and drinking ... all captured on video.

Now, where in that hectic schedule does one find 3-4 hours to do an edit ... and have it available early enough before the assembled crowd disperses or is blind drunk?
That's pretty much my day as well...and I work solo most of the time, so I've wondered the same thing as well.

We don't yet offer SDE's but I figure if the time comes that we do, it'll HAVE to be with a crew of at least 3. (1 editor, 1 shooter, 1 gopher/2nd shooter) Plus, most of the edit seems like it will have to be cookie cutter, with a spot to drop in that day's ceremony footage.

Well, that's how I think it MIGHT work...
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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Ball View Post
4:00PM - Ceremony begins ... all hands on deck!
4:30 - 5:15PM Ceremony ended... begin packing up equipment. Photographer takes post-ceremony pics.
6:00PM Race to the reception site
-6:30PM Setup equipment. Photos & video of venue and guests. Talk to DJ to get a plan of atack
7:00PM - Bridal party arrives
7:15PM - Toasts
7:30PM dinner for all ... including hired help (us)
7:50PM - Cut the cake
8:10PM - 1st Dance
8:15PM - 8:30PM Father-daughter, Mother-son, bridal party dances
8:30PM - 8:45 PM general dancing and drinking and drinking
8:45PM - 9:00 PM Bouquet toss... garter toss.. garter retrieval
9:00PM - midnight & beyond ... continued drinking, dancing and drinking ... all captured on video.

Now, where in that hectic schedule does one find 3-4 hours to do an edit ... and have it available early enough before the assembled crowd disperses or is blind drunk?

That is pretty much our typical schedule. I would leave the ceremony right away and start editing until the first dance. Have the video exporting during the dances and then it is ready to show right after. That actually looks like a fairly good schedule all things considered. While I'm gone I would have another videographer covering the photo-session and cocktail hour etc.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Ball View Post
Now, where in that hectic schedule does one find 3-4 hours to do an edit ... and have it available early enough before the assembled crowd disperses or is blind drunk?
I'm in pretty much the same boat, except like this:

8am-10am
Shoot footage of groom/groomsmen golfing first 9 holes.

10:30am - 12:30pm
Shoot footage of brides/bridesmaids getting ready (hair, makeup, nails, etc).

12:30pm - 1:00pm
Shoot footage of groom/groomsmen getting ready.

1:00pm - 1:30pm
Shoot footage of final bridal preparations (dress, jewelry, garter, shoes, makeup touchups, etc).

1:30pm - 3:30pm
Shoot footage of the photoshoot.

3:30pm - 4:00pm
Set up for ceremony.

4:00pm - 4:30pm
Shoot ceremony.

4:30pm - 5:00pm
Shoot mingling with guests or receiving line (assistant is breaking down and packing all gear) and then haul ass to the reception site.

5:00pm - midnight
Shoot reception (toasts, dances, bouquet/garter, special additions, general dancing, personal messages, etc.)


I'm with you Ron. I generally don't even have time to eat on the wedding day (literally), so I can't comprehend offering an SDE.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jason Magbanua View Post
1. Yes, of course showing your work to the guests is a good marketing tool, and no doubt you will pick up some extra work. From a clients point of view I wouldn't like anyone pitching for business on my day. But I am sure that your not doing a hard sell.

3. Yes, it's a good piece of entertainment, but then so is the father-in -law doing his John Travolta dance.
When we show an SDE paired with a love story, it absolutely engages the audience and moves many of them to laughter and tears throughout the 12-16 minute running time. The couple often needs a 10 minute break following the presentation before they can do their speech as they are so emotional. We have also been told several times that previewing the love story and SDE at the wedding was one of the best parts of their day.

When done right, as Jason does, it is pretty insulting to compare the entertainment value to the father-in-law dancing.

On the other hand, I think adding a love story to the beginning really goes that extra step and tells the story of the couple. An SDE can really move a crowd, but having a 10 minute setup where you can be entertained and learn how the couple met etc, just makes the SDE that much better.

Patrick
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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:14 PM   #11
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Hey Jason! I just wanted to chime in on this thread... SDE's are awesome! I've done 2 before and as you know, they bring the house down! The majority of the people around here have never even heard of one or can fathom the fact that they can be done. (Wedding video is more-so still an afterthought around here.) Anyways, we have a big one coming up this weekend (April 22nd) and I already have the song picked out, the edit in my head, and will be doing the titles and setting my markers to time with various cutpoints to make things go easier on the wedding day.

This particular bride hired me on several factors and SDE was one of them. I believe she saw one in a larger city and knew the value of it. We talked about the timeline of the day and she wanted some first dance footage in it... given that timeline, it wouldn't be possible, BUT she rearranged the order of the WHOLE reception to make it work! This gal VALUES video!

I don't do fullblown SDEs like you and some others do, basically all I'll be showing is a photomontage and a trailer... this trailer will be about 2 minutes long vs. my "standard" of 1 minute.

Yes, there is some self-gratification in absorbing the whole viewing by the guests, but even more-so with the client.

We as an "industry" need to expose good quality product to the masses, and SDE's are just one method of a "cheap" way to do this... The more people that see what is capable, the more people will value a great video.
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Old April 16th, 2007, 02:22 PM   #12
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Jerome,

I assume you get a premium for the SDE. Without me asking too personal of a question, how much more would you say the SDE demands over your normal fee? (30%, 50%, 100%, etc.)

Thanks,

Mark
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Old April 16th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #13
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I have done 8 SDE's in past few months and they are quite the hot commodity here in Hawaii. I have had nothing, but good feedback on SDE's I have done. I am usually contacted by a photographer looking to hire someone to do a SDE. I am there shooting strictly for highlight footage. When the couple leaves for the reception I edit the footage. I tipically have 2 to 3 hours for capturing, editing, rendering and printing back to tape. Due to the short time I usually will have already have made the intro and ending using engagement photos provided by the photog. I usually do not put my credits at the end of the video.

SDE's are an important part of the wedding day now because the bride and Groom are normally too stressed out to even remember what just happened. Typically 20 people are at the wedding and 200 at the reception, so this allows them to enjoy with the couple. This world today is about instant gradification and if we don't take advantage of that, then someone else will. Like photog's offering video services.

An SDE adds $300 to my basic package.

Ron
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Old April 16th, 2007, 04:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
What do you mean by "finish before the ceremony ends"? Do you mean finish the SDE, or just finish shooting video?
Yes finish as much as I can editing the SDE while another videog takes my place.

Geography was mentioned. I'm glad Hawaii is picking up. They're pretty big in Cali and NY already.

In Manila, all videogs I know do SDEs.

We all have busy days on a wedding, It's a matter of picking the right tools and planning the logistics to pull off an SDE.

I'd like to add too, that I do mine with a crew of three. Joel Peregrine does one still ALONE. Am I safe to say then that there is no excuse?
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Old April 16th, 2007, 05:07 PM   #15
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I'd like to add too, that I do mine with a crew of three. Joel Peregrine does one still ALONE. Am I safe to say then that there is no excuse?
I guess for me it still comes down to lack of time.

I have a 2 man man crew and we shoot the ceremony with 3 cameras, so leaving the ceremony early is not an option.

I don't have any time between the ceremony and the reception because the time the couple leaves between the two is usually based on how long it will take their guests to drive from one to the other (and I don't own a helicopter so I can't get there any faster than the guests).

My assistant shooters are not nearly as experienced as I am, so I can't leave them to shoot the first half of the reception (the most important stuff - entrance, first dance, father-daughter and mother-son dances, toasts, etc.) because that's a big risk. And by the time that stuff is over, most people start leaving (only the family and hard-core partiers tend to stay).

So I guess I still have an excuse. Time. d;-)
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